or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Any tips for improving short radius turn shape?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any tips for improving short radius turn shape?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I've posted quite a bit over the last few years, and I've received a lot of great advice on how to improve my skiing.  Much of that guidance has steered me towards dynamic carved turns, which feel amazing and look very nice as well.  Recently I was talking to the technical director at my mountain, and he made me realize that I had been focusing too much on carving, and that I was probably missing out on some versatility in my skiing because of it.  A few days later I was skiing with another experienced instructor, and she pointed out that my short radius turns lack shape.  So I went back and looked at my videos again, and I'm in agreement that I rush past the fall line and rely on the last third of my turn for speed control.   

 

So I've identified the problem, but now how do I fix it?  I can make nice round medium to long radius turns, but when I try to shorten the radius, I tend to pivot too much.  What kind of drills and exercises can I work on to get a rounder short radius turn.  

post #2 of 26

Ha ha, me too.  I concentrated on clean carved turns for 40 years, then decided I needed to ski moguls the proper way, and that starts with a short radius turn that is not locked in arc-2-arc fashion.

 

Try making short radius turns very very very slowly so that speed control does not really come into it.  You could also just embrace the speed and not worry about controlling it, but it's easier to see errors and make corrections when you go slow.

post #3 of 26

TreeFiter, can you do pivot slips that go straight down the hill?

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Try making short radius turns very very very slowly so that speed control does not really come into it.  You could also just embrace the speed and not worry about controlling it, but it's easier to see errors and make corrections when you go slow.

This! Patience at the top of the turn. Teach your body to find that very subtle movement to stay in balance over that new outside ski early. Find just the right amount of inclination and angulation to balance and still edge the ski while being able to steer or shmear the turn. When you find this place (its tough) you will then begin to develop the skills to shape the turn much more accurately. Then very gradually, up the pace or in skiing terms, "DIRT" .
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

TreeFiter, can you do pivot slips that go straight down the hill?

 

I know you are trying to pivot less, but pivot slips are a great drill towards making short round turns.  Once you can do a decent pivot slip straight down the fall line, start introducing a little bit of edging with a pole plant and you will be there.  Most of my students at levels 7 & 8 can't do a decent pivot slip, but when they try they do their best short turns.  It's all about the upper/lower body separation, rotational movements coming from the hip sockets, and a clean release of the old outside foot.  You could even call it foot steering if you wanted to be controversial.

post #6 of 26

This suggestion will probably blow the internet up.

 

Find some nice intermediate trail and look for a reference line, maybe a groomer line, a straight line left by a snow machine, whatever. Start off in the fall line, and start a new WEDGE TURN as soon as your feet cross the line.These should look pretty dynamic for a wedge turn, keeping your upper body facing down the hill and exhibiting a short leg/long leg. Think about moving from outside foot to outside foot.

 

Make a run or three and then take your medium radius turns and see if you can funnel them down into a rounder short turn.

 

Are you all still skiing in NY? 

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

This suggestion will probably blow the internet up.

Find some nice intermediate trail and look for a reference line, maybe a groomer line, a straight line left by a snow machine, whatever. Start off in the fall line, and start a new WEDGE TURN as soon as your feet cross the line.These should look pretty dynamic for a wedge turn, keeping your upper body facing down the hill and exhibiting a short leg/long leg. Think about moving from outside foot to outside foot.

Make a run or three and then take your medium radius turns and see if you can funnel them down into a rounder short turn.

Not sure why😜

Except for a very small subset of instructors, where wedge turns are thought of as evil... rolleyes.gif

A properly done gliding wedge turn uses all the same turn mechanics as a highspeed dynamic short radius. Just with a different DIRT and focus.:

There is steering, edging, pressure management, balance, etc. to properly do a wedge turn, there should be a simultaneous edge release, there should be a slight bit of appropriate counter, appropriate amount of extension and flexion of the ankles and all other joints, movement into the new turn, shaping of the turn, etc.

This is why wedge turns are demonstrated in many exams/tryouts from L1- L3 and beyond for those looking to make the demo team.

I will contest they are probably among the hardest demos to do properly and we too often dismiss them as "too low end" to practice.

Watching people do slow wedge turns reveals issues all the way up the chain. Where their flaws are in wedge turns will also usually appear in their high speed dynamic turns. Just harder to see because they happen so fast,

DC:rolleyes
post #8 of 26

Why a wedge turn? Speed control primarily but yeah you are right @dchan, all the components of a good parallel turn should be present in a good wedge turn, just over different base of support. 

 

Why blow the internet up? Just a jab at skiers/instructors who think a wedge turn is a vestige or something we teach that has to be untaught. 

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

Why a wedge turn? Speed control primarily but yeah you are right @dchan
, all the components of a good parallel turn should be present in a good wedge turn, just over different base of support. 

Why blow the internet up? Just a jab at skiers/instructors who think a wedge turn is a vestige or something we teach that has to be untaught. 


No need to unteach if it's taught properly.
post #10 of 26

The "why" was a reference to the"blow the internet up". Not the wedge turns. I totally agree with that as a possible progression. 

 

Different approach.

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

TreeFiter, can you do pivot slips that go straight down the hill?

Yes, pivot slips are no problem for me. 

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
 

This suggestion will probably blow the internet up.

 

Find some nice intermediate trail and look for a reference line, maybe a groomer line, a straight line left by a snow machine, whatever. Start off in the fall line, and start a new WEDGE TURN as soon as your feet cross the line.These should look pretty dynamic for a wedge turn, keeping your upper body facing down the hill and exhibiting a short leg/long leg. Think about moving from outside foot to outside foot.

 

Make a run or three and then take your medium radius turns and see if you can funnel them down into a rounder short turn.

 

Are you all still skiing in NY? 

Still skiing, but not for much longer.  I was at Hunter Mtn. today, and it looks like the end is near.  

post #13 of 26

Funnel... Start at the top of a long groomer skiing SG turns across the entire (hopefully empty) trail.  Each turn should get a little tighter and a little tighter and a little tighter until you are cranking out short radius turns as quickly as you can,.. then open it back up gradually to SL then GS, then SG again.... rinse and repeat as necessary..

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan View Post


This! Patience at the top of the turn. Teach your body to find that very subtle movement to stay in balance over that new outside ski early. Find just the right amount of inclination and angulation to balance and still edge the ski while being able to steer or shmear the turn. When you find this place (its tough) you will then begin to develop the skills to shape the turn much more accurately. Then very gradually, up the pace or in skiing terms, "DIRT" .

I think I'm on the right track.  I can make a nice smooth smeared turn, as if it were in slow motion, and maintain a constant speed if I try, but tightening up the radius and speeding things up leads to rushing through the first half of the turn.  I guess I just need to slow down and focus on it for a while and practice, practice, practice.

post #15 of 26

Are those dynamic carved turns with the edges locked to make railroad tracks, or are they brushed carves where the shovels engage the snow without locking the edges so you scrub off speed.  Still a carving movement, just not locked.

 

You need to get on the edges sooner, get on the tips sooner, get your body downhill from the skis sooner so your edges, specifically the front half of the inside edge of your outside ski, engages in the snow in the first 1/3rd of the turn and pulls you around.  Set the turn radius in this top 1/3rd of the turn to have a smooth C turn with speed control.  This isn't anything that is rushed or pushed, it us just beginning to move the the correct position for the next turn as you're ending the last turn.

 

Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATaUvxAErpI

post #16 of 26
In That video I would describe those more along the shmedium radius rather than short radius. That looks to be about 2-2 1/2 cat tracks wide and not a reaching type turn. Nice turns, just not what it sounds like the OP was asking about.
post #17 of 26
Taking the same turns, adding some more guidance onto the early edge and deal with forces, along with a quicker cadence will get you closer..
post #18 of 26

The following video may help on your journey to high edge angle, short radius turns.  It is the very beginning progression of hip angulated, high edge angle short radius turns.  It is only a drill!!!  I know it as the "Gorilla Turns" drill.  Having the weight on your heavily flexed inside leg is meant to act as a training wheel, so you can experience the extended outside leg, high edge angle of the outside ski and the large forces that outside leg will be dealing with during short radius carving.  I think he does a fairly decent job of explaining what's going on, and I think he touches on narrowing up the stance, but there are several other drill progressions before you reach your final goal.  Anyhow, just thought it might help.

 

 

post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

Are those dynamic carved turns with the edges locked to make railroad tracks, or are they brushed carves where the shovels engage the snow without locking the edges so you scrub off speed.  Still a carving movement, just not locked.

 

Earlier this season I worked a lot on getting my skis on edge as early as possible so that the skis would carve the top of the turn.  I got to a point where I was regularly leaving railroad tracks in the snow (pencil thin).  Very high performance.  Pretty fast skiing.  Not the kind of short radius turns that will generate a lot of speed control.  This is one of the videos with this type of skiing.  The first handful of turns were somewhat slower smeared out turns attempting to get a little bit more control out of them, but to me they even look rushed through the top half of the turn.  The turns after the fade in/out are what I'm calling short radius railroad tracks.

 

 

When I try to make brushed carved turns, the top of the turn is lost as my skis pivot around too quickly.  Any control I take away from a turn ends up coming from the finish, which leaves me riding the turn into a traverse rather than being ready to move into the next turn.  

post #20 of 26

I would agree with your own MA and assessment. Those are not "bad" turns. They do lack "shape" Please be aware we can be very nitpicky about some of this.. this is some pretty good skiing.

 

There is a quick push/steer to get the skis turning in those first turns, then in the apex a very short amount of shaping, followed by a rather static across the hill ride to the next turn. Those are more shmedium radius and I would classify them as almost a "z" shaped turn.

The edges do engage just before or at the fall line but it's almost like you pushed them to the edge angle rather than guide them get that edge angle and have the skis actually "pull" you into the turn.

 

In the second set those are not really z turns but a very long drawn out "s" turn. rather than a "c" turn. Speed does look like it gets a little faster and faster. It doesn't appear to be very steep but that may just be the camera angle.

They are about the right width for a short radius but I think you are looking for (by your first post) a more steered, (or in the terms SSG uses "brushed carve") tight radius yet shaped "C" type turn.

 

I am liking the thought of you really practicing your pivot slips. A LOT. then start thinking about sliding (sideways) fast (fast is relative you don't need to go mach speed) and turning your feet slowly through the pivot. Still keeping our skis in that narrow corridor. This will take a lot of repetitions. I mean a LOT. Learn to balance on the new down hill ski (not brace) and use a lot of extension to release your edges and flexion for speed control during the slide sideways. You will need quite a bit of counter to really make these easier and more efficient. Did I mention LOTS of repetitions to master this and make it feel real "easy"

 

As you begin to learn to pivot slow and still maintain a smooth slide sideways, you will now be finding the real fine edge control and rate of rotation needed to start making those short radius shaped turns (actually all your round shaped turns)

 

Now start adding a little more of an edge set at right before you start your next pivot. a slight bit more movement of your COM towards what would be the apex of your turn to release your edges and allow the skis to track a little out of  the "boots on the straight line" mentality and shape the pivot into a roundish pivot. Bring them around to across the fall line and repeat. Ski in and out of counter staying faced down the hill.

 

You should be able to continue to gradually increase speed, adjust DIRT and how dynamic these are until you are making nice shaped short radius turns.

post #21 of 26
I think the camera angles are throwing me off. I'm gonna go back and watch more video frame-by-frame!

Edited by esef - 3/27/16 at 4:54pm
post #22 of 26

Here's what I'm seeing.

 

You have a reasonable ski lead but you are holding it until you start to transition.You then slowly get rid of it as the new turn starts.

 

To get the early edge that you want on your new outside ski, you need to get forward pressure into the cuff, but you can't do that until you get the position to pressure the cuff,, and that takes time.

 

To work on this, hold a traverse after the turn, switch your lead and get up onto the new outside ski so you have good pressure on the cuff, and then slowly roll into the new turn, and just ride the edge around. You may pick up the inside ski if you want.

post #23 of 26
Hi TreeFiter. A few thoughts for your consideration. It's true that the top of your turns don't have the round arced shape you desire. The answer is to be found in how the preceding turn is completed. After all, the end of one turn is really the beginning of the next - same point in time and space.

Think about keeping your skis continuing to arc on their old edges up the hill behind you as your com moves downhill towards the apex of the new turn. To do this you will need to maintain sufficient pressure on the old outside ski even as increasing pressure is beginning to be transferred to the old inside/ new outside ski while it's still on its LTE. The sensation is that the skis continue to carve past your body much, much more than you're used to feeling. It's unnerving and you'll feel that you are going to fall on your face. You won't. There are, of course, nuances to the movements that allow this to happen. You're a good enough skier to let the genius of your body figure most of it out and refinements can come later.

The result will be that your skis will move out from under your body much earlier at the top of the new turn without your having to push them out there. And you'll achieve the shaping that you're looking for.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan View Post

In That video I would describe those more along the shmedium radius rather than short radius. That looks to be about 2-2 1/2 cat tracks wide and not a reaching type turn. Nice turns, just not what it sounds like the OP was asking about.

Those are pure carved turns. Deffinetly not what the OP asked for.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDaysNight View Post

Hi TreeFiter. A few thoughts for your consideration. It's true that the top of your turns don't have the round arced shape you desire. The answer is to be found in how the preceding turn is completed. After all, the end of one turn is really the beginning of the next - same point in time and space.

Think about keeping your skis continuing to arc on their old edges up the hill behind you as your com moves downhill towards the apex of the new turn. To do this you will need to maintain sufficient pressure on the old outside ski even as increasing pressure is beginning to be transferred to the old inside/ new outside ski while it's still on its LTE. The sensation is that the skis continue to carve past your body much, much more than you're used to feeling. It's unnerving and you'll feel that you are going to fall on your face. You won't. There are, of course, nuances to the movements that allow this to happen. You're a good enough skier to let the genius of your body figure most of it out and refinements can come later.

The result will be that your skis will move out from under your body much earlier at the top of the new turn without your having to push them out there. And you'll achieve the shaping that you're looking for.

Exactly!  I think of this as "overcompleting" the turn.

Work that old inside ski (the uphill one) so that it almost turns itself uphill.  As it does this, it will drag the outside ski uphill along with it.

Your goal is to get both skis to cross under your body on their way uphill so that your body ends up downhill of them both without you doing anything associated with the upper body.

 

The skis don't really go "uphill."  They go "uphill" relative to your center of mass.  This is the "unnerving" part that will make you think you're going to fall on your face -- hard.  But you won't.  Once you get the timing right, this causes a Wheee! moment in each turn that feels like that moment at the top of a roller coaster that's finally gotten to the top of the first hill and right now "Wheeee!" it goes down and you feel weightless.  

 

This feeling is one of the thrills of skiing that's kept me happy on this season's subnormal conditions here in the North East.

 

And your turns will be very very round, because there will be a top to them.  You'll be able to refine and shape that top once the timing kicks in, just as HardDaysNight says above.
 

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 
 

 

When I try to make brushed carved turns, the top of the turn is lost as my skis pivot around too quickly.  Any control I take away from a turn ends up coming from the finish, which leaves me riding the turn into a traverse rather than being ready to move into the next turn.  

 

One quick improvement would be to watch your weight transfer. Look at the first turns: you are gliding across the slope on the old outside ski and then suddenly hop onto and transfer weight to the new outside ski, overpowering it. 

 

Transfer weight early to this ski, way before the turn begins, even as it's on the uphill edge. At slow speeds, learn how to transfer (weight at the slow speeds) to it early and gradualy, so you don't overpower it too quickly. Then learn balance and ski control at slow speeds.

 

cheers


Edited by razie - 3/27/16 at 11:15am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Any tips for improving short radius turn shape?